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Posts Tagged ‘activities at home’

Five Awesome Backyard ‘Stay-cation’ Ideas

five awesome backyard stay-cation ideas

Your family’s vacation plans may have changed drastically this summer, but you can still take a break, unwind and build some amazing summertime memories! These five staycation ideas will make staying home feel almost as good as getting away from it all.

  1. Bring the beach to you. Sand, sun and surf sound great right about now, don’t they? With a little preparation, your family can have the perfect beach experience right in your backyard (minus the French fry-stealing seagulls, of course). Simply set up an umbrella, some chairs and a wading pool in your backyard. Add a few bags of sand and boom, instant beach! Have a family sandcastle-building contest, wade in the “ocean,” share a tasty beach picnic and watch the sun set over the water at the end of the day. But don’t forget the sunscreen!
  1. Have an at-home camping adventure. Whether you prefer to pitch an actual tent in your backyard or sleep in a sofa fort in your living room, you can have a rustic camping experience while still taking advantage of the comforts of home (which, let’s face it, is AWESOME when it comes to having to use the bathroom). Gather up some camping snacks – trail mix, s’mores supplies, etc. – and unroll a few sleeping bags and rough it while not having to actually, you know, rough it. You could also hold a nature scavenger hunt in your backyard. Try having a campfire sing-along, whether you have an actual bonfire or just make one out of tissue paper.
  1. Avoid the crowds and plan a carnival day of your own right at home. Recreate some of your favorite fair games for your child to play, complete with fun prizes. You could also eat special treats like cotton candy, hot dogs and freshly popped popcorn. Create “rides” with whatever you have on hand, and if you want to go even bigger, look into renting a bouncy house for the day!
  1. Take a fantastic voyage to another country from the comfort of your living room. Want to go to France? Go online to take a virtual tour of Paris. You can even eat some croissants and nibble some cheese while you take in the sights. If you want a more in-depth experience, use a language-learning app on your mobile device to learn the names of household items in French. Try saying the words in French and asking your children to identify the items. You can use virtual tours to explore almost any country, so ask your children where they would like to go!
  1. Plan a fabulous food tour. You and your family could cook different dishes that represent different countries, such as paella for Spain, borscht for Russia and fish and chips for England, and have an international feast at home. You could also order takeout from different restaurants for an easier international feast. Either way, you get to spend some quality time with your family while learning about the foods of other cultures!

How will you spend your staycation this summer?

8 Ways to Make a Weekend at Home Feel Like a Family Vacation

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You don’t need to go anywhere to capture the vacation vibe.

Spring and summer school breaks are coming up, and while many of my friends hop on the first plane, train, or rental car outta the city year after year, my family and I have found ourselves stuck at home many times in the past. The thing is: We’re all feeling it, the vacation itch. That’s why I like to bring the vacation vibe to us for special weekends. From decor to activities–and most of all, mindset!–we make weekends at home feel like the best family vacation ever.


This is a tough one (at my house, anyway), but at least try. Put your phones, tablets, and computers in a drawer–padlocked if necessary–and spend the weekend like you’re on a desert island, devoid of news updates, texts, and annoying robocalls. You will survive, and maybe even feel refreshed.

Change the Decor

Go nuts with colorful flowers and funky lighting, and hide your regular artwork and rugs to take “your house” out of your house. So maybe you’re not at a fancy hotel in the Swiss Alps, but you’ll barely recognize your digs and will have a blast setting up (and then luxuriating in) this alternate universe.

Eat Exotic Foods

Roll your own pasta (it’s not as hard as it sounds!) and toss in a little Puttanesca sauce to bring the flavors of Naples to your kitchen. If you’d prefer to take a break from cooking, order a lavish Mediterranean meal or a Spanish feast if there’s a tapas restaurant in town, or get something decadent online, like Russian caviar. And don’t stop there. Go the extra mile by bringing in exotic dessert or candy to go with it. After a wedge of Turkish Baklava or a box of Baci (y’know, the delicious Italian chocolates that come with a message inside), you’ll feel like you spent the day anywhere but home.

Switch It Up

Do you usually eat dinner in the dining room? Try a picnic on the bedroom floor. Maybe you’ll get leave some crumbs, but that’s what the vacuum is for. Similarly, skip your queen-sized bed and have a slumber party in the living room or under the kitchen table (maybe vacuum first, in this scenario).

Bring Camping to You

If you have a yard or garden, pitch a tent out there and eat dinner under the stars before cozying up to sleep. Once you’re zipped inside a tent, you really won’t notice if you’re in your yard or atop the Rocky Mountains. This way has some added conveniences in that you can wash your hands after they get covered in s’mores and the beer will stay cold in the fridge.

Have a Rave

Glow sticks: check. Bubbles: check. Techno: Well, my daughter will make sure it’s Selena Gomez–but, check. If you can’t make it to Ibiza this summer, turn out the lights, have a fashion contest to see who can come up with the wildest outfit, and boogie down till sunrise.

Throw a Film Festival

Pick a theme, from beach movies to French thrillers, and hunker down for a lazy weekend of nothin’ but movies. Create a themed cocktail or amuse-bouche for each film and see if you can borrow a projector from a friend to get the full experience. To really build a retro vibe of a drive-in movie experience, serve a classic snack like Entenmanns’s Minis Apple Snack Pies–what’s more of an American staple than apple pie made by a baked goods company founded in 1898?

Make It a Spa Weekend

Go to Sephora and load up on sheet masks, then start lighting scented candles, ripping off rose petals, and running a hot bubble bath. If you really want to feel decadent, find a local masseuse who does house calls and turn those muscles to mush in the comfort of your own home.

*This piece is sponsored by Entenmann’s.


This article was written by Alex Richards from Real Simple and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.